Respiratory Care | BCTC

Respiratory Care

Help people breathe easier. Learn to use life-saving equipment and care for patients with lung or heart problems, while entering a field that's full of opportunity.

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What is respiratory care?

Maintain the functions of the heart and lungs as a Respiratory Therapist! 

A person can live without food for a few weeks and without water for a few days. But if someone stops breathing for more than a few minutes, death will result. Whenever the breath of life is at risk, respiratory therapists intervene.

Respiratory therapists are also known as respiratory care practitioners (RCPs). They specialize in the care of people with breathing disorders. Care includes the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, management, and rehabilitation of breathing issues. Patients treated by respiratory therapists range from premature infants to geriatrics. 

In our program, you'll gain experience in the classroom, campus lab, and local clinics. As a graduate, you not only advance the science and practice of respiratory care. You'll support, care, and advocate for your patients.

Credential Opportunities

Graduates qualify for the National Board for Respiratory Care credential examination. 

There are two possible credentials:

You must pass the Certified Respiratory Therapist (C.R.T.) exam to qualify for the RRT credential exam.

Transfer Opportunities

We have transfer agreements in place with many colleges and universities. Our partners make it easy for BCTC graduates to complete a bachelor's degree.

Some of our partners include:

  • University of Kentucky
  • Northern Kentucky University
  • Eastern Kentucky University
  • University of Cincinnati 

Questions about transfer? Reach out to the Respiratory Care program coordinator or visit our Transfer Services web page.

Community Quote

"I have hired and worked with many respiratory therapists who have graduated from BCTC. What has impressed me is their skill sets, critical thinking skills and the devotion and compassion they bring to the bedside."

Thomas W. Grant Jr., BA, RRT
Manager of Pulmonary Services at St. Joseph East


Program CoARC # 200020

Our program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) (new window).

CoARC accredits respiratory therapy education programs in the United States. To achieve this end, it utilizes an ‘outcomes based’ process. Programmatic outcomes are performance indicators that reflect the extent to which the educational goals of the program are achieved and by which program effectiveness is documented.

CoARC Program Outcomes Data (new window)

What are my career choices?

BCTC's Respiratory Care program prepares you for a meaningful career in healthcare. Respiratory Therapists work in various areas including: Hospitals, Home Care, Clinics, Management, Education, Sleep Medicine, and Land/Air Transport.

Graduates have a 95% job placement rate and can start out earning around $20/hour.

To learn more about the respiratory care profession and to see the kinds of jobs and work that RTs are doing, check out the links below. Respiratory therapists are critical members of the healthcare team and work every day to save lives.

What are my degrees, diploma, and certificate options?

The catalog describes the course requirements for completing the credential. Students are required to schedule an appointment with their assigned academic advisor to ensure achievement of their academic goals.

Length of program

You can earn an associate in applied science degree in two years if you maintain full-time status.

This information should not be considered a substitute for the KCTCS Catalog. You should always choose classes in cooperation with your faculty advisor to ensure that you meet all degree requirements.

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Program Contact

Trisha Dang

Program Coordinator

(859) 246-6246
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